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2015 Ford Fiesta: Used Car Review

Editor’s note: You may also want to read Autotrader’s 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019 Ford Fiesta review.  

 

Along with the Ford Focus, the Fiesta is a tangible representation of Ford Motor Company’s drive to leverage its well-regarded and popular-selling European small cars for U.S. consumption. The 2015 Ford Fiesta is the sixth-generation version of this subcompact car, available as a conventional 4-door sedan or a sporty 5-door hatchback. The front-drive Fiesta is renowned for its taut, responsive chassis and the good fuel economy offered by its standard 120-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. The Fiesta’s "mini Aston Martin" front-end appearance takes cues from the midsize Fusion sedan.

The Fiesta offers a comprehensive array of standard safety equipment, including dual-front airbags, side airbags, overhead airbags, a driver’s-knee airbag, anti-lock brakes and stability and traction control systems. Most versions of the Fiesta are also available with Ford’s excellent SYNC hands-free phone connectivity system and MyFord Touch infotainment.

Aside from the regular Fiesta, there’s an optional fuel-sipping 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbo that’s rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at 41 miles per gallon on the highway, and the exciting Fiesta ST performance model, with aggressive looks, a sport suspension and a lively 197-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbo. For 2015, there’s new fabric seat trim and optional 16-inch alloys for the SE model. See the 2015 Ford Fiesta models for sale near you

What We Like

"Mini Aston Martin" front-end look; fun-to-drive character; invigorating performance with the ST model; excellent fuel economy with the 3-cylinder turbo; available SYNC voice-activated infotainment controls; choice of sedan or hatchback body styles; comfortable front seats

What We Don’t

Subpar side-impact safety rating; cramped back seat; poor rearward visibility; cluttered dash; windshield glare; narrow cabin; cumbersome seat-back adjustment; shift quality of automatic transmission

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2015 Fiesta is available with a standard 1.6-liter 4-cylinder, an optional 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost turbo or, in the Fiesta ST only, a 197-hp 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder.

The 1.6-liter generates 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque on a diet of regular unleaded fuel. It’s teamed with a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission, the 1.6-liter has an EPA rating of 27 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, while the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic nets a 27 mpg city/36 mpg hwy rating. The Super Fuel Economy version of the dual-clutch automatic model is EPA-rated at an impressive 28 mpg city/38 mpg hwy.

Optional only in the Fiesta SE is a 123-hp 1.0-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder turbo with 148 lb-ft of torque. The gas-sipping 3-cylinder is available solely with a 5-speed manual transmission and is EPA-rated at 31 mpg city/41 mpg hwy.

Available only in the Fiesta ST performance model, a 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo transforms the econobox into a pocket rocket. The 1.6-liter turbo pumps 197 hp and 202 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated solely with a 6-speed manual transmission and nets EPA estimates of 26 mpg city/34 mpg hwy. Premium fuel is recommended but not required.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Ford Fiesta is available in S, SE, Titanium and ST trims.

The very basic S comes standard with air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with an audio input jack, variable intermittent wipers, 185/60 tires wrapping 15-in steel wheels, a split fold-down rear bench seat, mini blind spot mirrors and power door locks and mirrors.

The SE models are more mainstream and add standard upgrades such as power front windows, keyless entry, cruise control, SYNC hands-free phone connectivity, a driver’s-seat armrest, a trip computer, premium cloth seats, auto headlamps, a rear spoiler, a compass and an outside temperature display. Popular SE options can add heated front seats, heated door mirrors, 195/60 tires on 15-in alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, navigation, SiriusXM and a power moonroof. For 2015, 16-in alloys are optional on the SE.

The Titanium is the luxury Fiesta grade, with standard upgrades such as 195/50 tires on 16-in alloy wheels, fog lamps, backup sensors, leather upholstery, a leather steering wheel and shift knob, heated front seats, heated door mirrors, automatic climate control, an 8-speaker premium audio system, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and SiriusXM.

The Fiesta ST performance model only comes as a 4-door hatchback and features the 197-hp 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo with an intake sound enhancer, a dual exhaust, a 6-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip differential, torque vectoring, a lowered sport suspension with 205/40 performance tires on 17-in alloy wheels, a high-mounted rear spoiler, quick-ratio steering, a power moonroof, leather sport seats, a leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and shifter, multicolor interior ambient accent lighting, SYNC with a 6.5-in MyFord Touch infotainment screen, and MyKey-programmable top speed, audio levels and stability control.

Pricing

The Fiesta drives home the point that small cars don’t have to feel cheap just because they’re inexpensive to purchase and operate. As good as the 5-speed manual transmission is, you should expect to pay more for Fiesta models equipped with the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. The Fiesta has a full complement of standard safety features, including seven airbags, anti-lock brakes, and traction and stability control, so it’s a good choice for first-time buyers on a budget. The Fiesta ST is hard to find due to limited production, and it will command higher prices.

To get a good idea of the 2015 Fiesta’s price range, you should investigate the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recalls for the 2015 Fiesta:

The fuel pump may fail suddenly, stalling the engine unexpectedly and creating a crash risk.

On 1.6-liter models, driving the car with low coolant may overheat the engine, cracking the cylinder head and creating an oil leak. Leaking oil in the presence of hot engine components creates an increased fire risk.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2015 Fiesta four stars overall, with four stars for frontal impacts and rollover performance but a very disappointing two for side impacts.

The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Fiesta 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback Marginal ratings for small-overlap front impacts and Good ratings for moderate-overlap front and side impacts, roof strength, head restraints and seats.

Ford Motor Company sold the 2015 Fiesta with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/unlimited-distance corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside-assistance coverage.

Ford certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles can’t be more than 5 years old or show more than 80,000 miles. Every CPO Fiesta undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and powertrain coverage extending 7 years from when the vehicle was first sold or from the 100,000-mile mark, whichever occurs first. Also included is a vehicle-history report and roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Toyota Yaris — This subcompact receives a sportier front-end appearance for 2015 and, like the Fiesta, is available as a 3- or 5-door hatchback. Toyota’s entry-level car delivers the basics and is powered by a modest 106-hp 1.5-liter 4-cylinder teamed with a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission. The latter combination is rated at 30 mpg city/36 mpg hwy.

2015 Honda Fit — All-new for 2015, the Fit is roomier and gets a more powerful 130-hp 1.5-liter engine paired with a 6-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission. Outward visibility is outstanding, and at 52.7 cu ft., cargo space is double that of Fiesta. EPA estimates with the CVT are an impressive 33 mpg city/41 mpg hwy.

Autotrader’s Advice

Ford’s Fiesta is part of a new crop of European-inspired small cars that are fuel efficient, easy to maneuver and fun to drive. The Fiesta ST is an absolute ball to drive, but it’s only available with a manual gearbox. Since it was produced in small numbers, finding one that meets your criteria might be difficult.

As for the more readily available S, SE and Titanium models, we think the ownership experience will be more enjoyable if buyers opt for the better-equipped SE or Titanium models that have power windows, mirrors and door locks, cruise control and the upgraded audio system with Ford’s excellent SYNC hands-free phone interface and SiriusXM radio. Although the dual-clutch automatic 6-speed transmission will satisfy the needs of most buyers, we also think that the Fiesta’s inherent fun-to-drive character will be more easily accessible with the 5-speed manual gearbox. The 1.0-liter 3-cylinder model might be a fuel miser, but it could be a harder sell at trade-in time. You should stick with well-cared-for and lower-mileage 4-cylinder examples when possible, and you’ll find that going the CPO route is always a wise choice. Make sure the Fiesta that you’re considering purchasing has had any applicable safety recalls attended to by the dealer. 

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